As voters join long queues, the fairness of Zambian election is ...

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As voters join long queues, the fairness of Zambian election is questioned

Activists say playing fields weren’t level in run-up to voting, US may impose sanctions over any election discrepancies

Matthew Hill and Taonga Clifford Mitimingi

Zambians queued from as early as 1am on Thursday morning to cast their ballots in a high-stakes election, after advocacy groups questioned the fairness of campaigns in the run-up to the vote.

While opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema’s movements were curbed, president Edgar Lungu dominated state media coverage and his party stands accused of using coronavirus restrictions to its advantage.

“The playing field certainly hasn’t been level,” said Linda Kasonde, executive director of the Chapter One Foundation, a local civil rights organisation. “Opposition leaders have been attacked by ruling party cadres and prevented from appearing on private and community radio stations.”..

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